Nuclear Security:

DOE Actions to Improve the Personnel Clearance Program

RCED-89-34: Published: Nov 9, 1988. Publicly Released: Dec 21, 1988.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO determined the status of the Department of Energy's (DOE) implementation of GAO recommendations regarding the DOE personnel security clearance program.

GAO found that: (1) DOE concurred with the GAO recommendations aimed at improving the timeliness, accuracy, and efficiency of personnel security clearance decisions; (2) in June 1987, DOE directed 11 offices that had personnel security clearance functions to prepare plans and resource needs for review and approval by the Assistant Secretary for Defense Programs; (3) all 11 offices submitted their plans by October 1987, but only 4 of them gained approval as of mid-October 1988; (4) DOE is currently studying ways to improve contractor compliance with preemployment requirements and expedite the decision-making process for security clearances; (5) DOE is upgrading the central personnel security clearance database; (6) in February 1988, DOE issued revised guidance that defines and explains how to implement the need-to-know principle; and (7) the effectiveness of the DOE actions depends partly on the adequacy of its internal control system for overseeing and evaluating program operations.

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